Games

Abnormal Mapping 45: Octogenarian Lunarian

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Welcome to another fantastic edition in the internet’s favourite Tella fan club podcast. This month, we’re counting down our top ten Tella moments, and we’re asking our audience the million dollar question: what would you do… with that much MP? Tella all your friends, and rate comment and subscribe!

EDITORS NOTE: we are not fans of Tella or his Moon Dwelling Counterpart and never shall be. The host responsible for implying such a thing has been reprimanded appropriately and regrets their words and deeds. Please enjoy this Tella-free discussion of Final Fantasy IV. Thank you.

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here.

Things Discussed: Ben Kuchera’s boob controllerbooby Vita ad, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Jackson’s thoughts on Season 2 of The Walking Dead, 10000000, Hatsune Miku Project Mirai DX,David Letterman Miku, Wossy, Final Fantasy IV, Legends of Localization breakdown of FF4 script differences, Final Fantasy IV’s two different logosM’s Final Fantasy XIII breakdown via LP

This Month’s Game Club: Final Fantasy IV

Next Month’s Game Club: Lili: Child of Geos

Music This Episode
Blown Away by Kevin McLeod
Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV by Nobuo Uematsu
Theme of Love by Nobuo Uematsu
Battle with the Four Fiends by Nobuo Uematsu

Let's Play Fable

Jackson is here with one more Let’s Play before transitioning to video essays, a trip through the now Late Lionhead’s original Xbox game, Fable. Or, at least it would be, if the version they were playing wasn’t one of the most awful remasters the world has ever seen. Can the game’s charm still come through?

Yeah. Kinda.

What I’m saying is: it’s a cool Let’s Play! Enjoy!

Abnormal Mapping 44: The Mr Show of Videogames

To listen to the episode, click hereTo subscribe, click here to find the site feed on iTunes, or search "head falls off" into any good podcast directory.

Emerging from the wreckage of the Big Shell, Jackson travels through time to meet Cameron Kunzelman in the depths of the russian jungle, on a secret mission to stop a tank which can go really fast. In this third entry into the Metal Gear podcasts, Cameron and Jackson drill into the big questions: who does Snake kiss? Is it possible to make an anti-war War Game? And is Metal Gear even that ridiculous at all?

This is a fantastic episode and I hope you can take the time to give it a listen! Big, big thanks to Cameron for stopping by, you can find their writing at This Cage Is WormsPaste and Twitter, their games here or on Steam, and a variety ofYoutube fun stuff, well, on Youtube.

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here.

Things discussed: Metals Gear 1-5, Shigeru Miyamoto, Final Fantasy VII, Leigh Alexander on MGSV

Music This Episode
Snake Eater by Norihiko Hibino & Cynthia Harrell
Fanfare (FFVII) by Nobuo Uematsu
Way To Fall by Starsailor

Abnormal Mapping 42: Mapping's Memetic Legacy

To listen to the episode, click hereTo subscribe, click here to find the site feed on iTunes, or search "head falls off" into any good podcast directory.

After conquering the base of Shadow Moses, Jackson continued on to Big Shell, accompanied this time by none other than the fantastic Heather Alexandra! This episode is an in-depth critical discussion on Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, where we talk about (among other things) the game’s commentary on player and player character agency, the societal implications of The Patriots, and the varying quality of the members of that poor Emmerich Family.

I’m incredibly proud of this discussion, so if you’re at all interested in critical discussions on Metal Gear then you should definitely have a listen, I think it’s an intresting conversation about a really dense game. This episode couldn’t have been made without special guest Heather Alexandra, whose writing can be found on her website and you should also follow her on twitter!

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here+.

Things discussed: Metals Gear 1-5, Driving Off The Map, Metal Gear Rising

Music This Episode
Metal Gear Solid Main Theme by TAPPY & Harry Gregson-Williams
Fortune by Norihiko Hibino
Can’t Say Goodbye To Yesterday by Rika Muranaka, Carla White

Minimap: The Witness

To listen to the episode, click hereTo subscribe, click here to find the site feed on iTunes, or search "head falls off" into any good podcast directory.

In what will hopefully become a semi-regular fixture of short, impomptu podcasts, M and Jackson sit down to have a chat about The Witness. There aren’t any spoilers for solutions here, and instead we get into our feelings on the cultural context of the game and its creator. Let us know if you enjoy the episode, and we’ll bring you some more when circumstances align!

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here.

Games Discussed
Braid, Not Myst, The Witness

Music Used
Blown Away by Kevin McLeod

Expand: Belonging

I don’t belong here.

This place is foreign, its edges wrong, moving me more than I can move myself. There are no corners for me to find, no crevaces in which I can hide, no opportunity to feel as if I am somewhere I am meant to be.

Before, I had barely stopped to consider my body. It was me, I was it, we existed in this balance where my thoughts and its actions were perfectly aligned. Now I could not be more aware of this thing, this thing that is me, this thing that doesn’t fit, that doesn’t work, that doesn’t change.

I need more space. I need air, I need time, I need to finally breathe once more. As I jerk forward, I feel the walls brush against me, reminding me of how close they are and will be, of how no matter how smooth I can trick myself into being, they will always be there waiting to catch me, to push me, to guide me along. I can see the exit closing ahead of me, I can see these walls have left me behind and I know, I know that it is too late –

Everything returns to how it was before. The world rotates not around me, but towards me, moving itself to accommodate my failure. I push forward, for the shifting walls allow no way to return, and this time they close behind me. I start to glide, shifting my weight from one side to the other, the walls keeping me on track, pushing me further and further into unfamiliar lands.

And then, I lose the walls. All around they start to turn red, no longer ambivalent, and they begin their attack. This place wants rid of me far more than I want rid of it, it wishes me broken, stuck and unable to take anymore. It wants this story to remain unfinished, it wants to prove for once and for all that it is strong enough to beat me, it wants me to admit it.

No. I refuse.

I ask my body to glide, my body agrees, and together we move through the gaps in the space that were built just for us. The world shifts, grows and shrinks, moves and stops, changes upon our command. Where once it closed the path on our approach, now it opens. Even now, as its anger grows, a tidal wave of blood red making relentless chase, doors reveal themselves before it can make contact.

Ahead, I see the final clearing. It comes closer and farther all at once, as I drive my body forward on this endless straight line, allowing myself to believe that maybe I will escape. I can feel the heat of the world behind me, I can feel the air ahead, and I know that whatever happens I can’t stop. I am on this road until the end, me and my body, my body and these walls, these walls and this anger; everything in conflict yet all guiding me towards one inevitable ending.

I’m tired. I haven’t stopped moving in so long, my body has done so much that it wasn’t designed for, we’ve done more than we ever thought we could. Just one more push, just one more push, one more…

Silence. I couldn’t remember what silence felt like, but it all comes rushing back as the walls slip away and I am once more free. I look around me, searching for some kind of sign as to what lies ahead, and find no indication that anything lies anywhere at all. I can move at will, my body at last in line with the axis of the world. Is there anything waiting for me outside the lines? Can’t I stay here, in the light, for a second longer?

Oh god.

I don’t belong here.

Abnormal Mapping 41: The Shaven Wookie

To listen to the episode, click hereTo subscribe, click here to find the site feed on iTunes, or search "head falls off" into any good podcast directory.

The Mappers begin the new year with a new podcast about a new video game! There’s no such thing as too much new, as we delve deep into new characters, new shapes, and new possiblities with some new artwork and some new laughs. We also induct new things into the reading list. New. New new new. Please enjoy this new podcast, and maybe let friends (new ones, but old ones too I guess) know, so that they can be new listeners in this new era.

Meatloaf, Pure Pool, The Witcher, Animal Crossing, Shaven Wookie, Destiny, Mass Effect, Beyond: Two Souls, City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, The Sims, Saints Row, Miis, GTA IV, Sleeping Dogs, I am Become Rihanna, the Destroyer of WorldsThe Natural, Expand, When Two Best Friends Make Video Games, CS Go 1.7 Beta, games for children, the “Tears in the Rain” Blade Runner speech, Minecraft LPs, the car story from the Beastcast

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here.

Reading List Inductees:
Psychology of Video Games
Friends at the Table
Monster Factory

This Month’s Game Club Game: Expand

Next Month’s Game Club Game: Ninja Gaiden Black

Music This Episode
Blown Away by Kevin MacLeod
Mii Channel by Kazumi Totaka
Closure by Christopher Larkin
Slide by Etch Music
Busy Earnin’ by Jungle

Abnormal Mapping 40: Brother!!!

To listen to the episode, click hereTo subscribe, click here to find the site feed on iTunes, or search "head falls off" into any good podcast directory.

With the completion of the Metal Gear diaries, Jackson is finally free from this franchise for the rest of time... or so he thought. Instead, he's pulled back in to a series of mid-month podcasts here on Abnormal Mapping where he talks to different guests about the various games in the series to highlight and explore multiple perspectives. For the first one, he's joined by Corey Milne, an Irish Games Critic who wants nothing more than to hear Liquid Snake, with all the vocal might he can muster, utter the magic word: B R O T H E R

Corey's writing can be found on his website and you can also follow him on twitter!

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here.

Things discussed: Metals Gear 1-4, Driving Off The Map, Spec Ops The Line

Music This Episode
The Best is Yet To Come by Rika Muranaka & Aoife Ní Fhearraigh
Encounter by TAPPY
Metal Gear Solid Theme by TAPPY

Oases: Tragedy Reclaimed

OASES is such a simple, beautiful game. You control a plane transported to another world, engines kaput and steering lost, sucked into a black hole and whisked away forever more. There are unknowable structures below you, and a majestic neon sky above. To move, you must accept that you cannot turn level anymore, and must angle your plane softly and explore this new world around you. It’s soothing, haunting, and as the music reaches a climax and you realise it won’t loop around again, oh so fleeting.

The story of OASES is that of a tragedy, of a plane crashing in Algeria, carrying a man who was yet to meet his unborn son. But in the act of playing, that tragedy is rejected, replaced with an almost certainly false narrative of escape, told purely through the skies and sights of an unknown world. It’s a celebration of the unknown, a defiant choice to imagine death as something other than painful, simply because we can.

Our lives are full of sad stories unfinished, where we can fill in the blanks and assume the truth. But whenever there’s doubt, there’s a better world that we’d like to believe in, and if we’re capable of imagining for a while, we can go there too.

*

OASES can be played on itch.io, and is a game from Armel Gibson & Dziff with music from Calum Bowen.